Wednesday, July 27, 2016

X to the 5th

My handful of a fifth child turned five yesterday!  I was the fifth child, and a perfect one at that, so I'm not sure why Alexander isn't following suit ;)  He certainly keeps us on our toes.  Case in point, two days before his birthday, he was sitting beside me on the couch and went to stand up.  His little legs were tucked beneath him, and as he went to pull one out, it got stuck on the leather (pleather?) and he fell face first into our coffee table.  There was mucho blood and after the tears and blood stopped, he looked like this:

I sent out an SOS on Instagram and emailed my dentist's office a photo, and the Office Manager called me back from home, on a Sunday, because she's awesome and we share the same name.  

Side Note 1: every time I call the dentist's office, I have to clarify who I am by saying "Colleen Martin, the pregnant one"  or "Colleen Martin, the one with all the kids" so they know which one I am.  

Anyhoo, she said to bring him in for an xray the next day.  The next morning, he wasn't in any pain, and Phil took him to camp with him until his appointment later that afternoon.  After morning Mass, I get a text from Phil that Xander had opened up his water bottle with his teeth (as one does) and the tooth got wiggly and started bleeding and he pulled it out himself!  I won't share the tooth photo here again but you can hop over here to see what a baby tooth looks like, root and all.  I took him to the dentist and they just cleaned it up a bit, took an xray and said there's nothing more to be done now.  God is good, because he may have had to get it pulled if it didn't come out on its own!  We went for some (soft-serve!) ice cream to celebrate:

Xander was very excited to show everybody his tooth in the cool tooth holder they gave him, that he almost lost it twice at my parent's house within minutes.  That would have been devastating because how would the tooth fairy have come??!!??  

Side Note 2: I once lost my little sister's tooth under out kitchen island when we were kids.  She got so mad at me and I had to write a note to the tooth fairy apologizing.  It was traumatic for the both of us and I can't not think of that story every time my kids lose teeth.

On the morning of his 5th birthday, Xander awoke to a whole dollar from the tooth fairy!

Side Note 3: JP declared that he only got a quarter for his first tooth and then a nickel for each one following.  Total lie, but he really believes it.

  And now his smile looks like this:

Hey Shorty, it's your birthday, and we know the rest.  

He picked pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream for his birthday dinner (he called it "dreakfast") and Declan be like, where's my berries and cream, woman?

He got some too, don't fret, we just wanted him to eat some pancakes first and once the whipped cream comes out, that's all he will eat.  Who can blame him?

 Then came presents from Mom and Dad:

Eamon was at a basketball game, and JP was taking the world's longest shower when gifts happened.  It was already past bedtime so we kept the party rolling right along.  You snooze (or ball or shower) you lose!

He got a Superhero Book, an Avenger Wii game, another Avenger Wii game, a stomp rocket, and a pack of dinosaur flashcards.  He also got a bouncy ball from Andrew and one from Eamon, so sweet.

My parents and his godfather will be coming over on Sunday to celebrate again, where we will have Chinese food and ice cream sundaes (birthday boy's choice!).  My parents couldn't make it on his actual birthday because my Dad had surgery to remove the staples placed in his chest after his open heart surgery a couple years ago.  They were causing him pain, so out they went, and he looks like he did fantastic:

Grandparents of 22 on St Joachim & St. Anne's feast day.

Side note 4: That's grilled cheese and chicken soup for dinner, in case you were wondering like some of my siblings were in the group texts last night.  We love to eat :)

Happy 5th Birthday, Alexander Blaise!  We can't get enough of you and your funny, shy, accident-prone, quirky personality.  I'm pretty sure God broke the mold when He created you! You're our one-in-a-million kid and we love you so much!

Friday, July 22, 2016

7QT: Summer Camp Ideas

Phil's in the middle of his three week summer camp, and he's been doing some really neat crafts with the kids that I thought might be fun to share.  If anyone is stuck at home this summer with bored (and hungry!  always hungry!) kids, here's some ideas to liven things up.



This seemed to be the favorite activity so far.  The directions are here.


Superhero Capes

I never would have thought to use cheap disposable tablecloths for this, but they worked out great!  Directions here.  This project can take up a lot of time (if that's your objective) because you can have the kids come up with a superhero, write down their superpowers, design their costume and then create it.  Fun!


Bubblewrap Dance Party

Phil hasn't done this activity yet, but he bought bubblewrap to tape to the floor and have kids play freeze dance on top of it.  When the music stops, whoever pops is out.  He also is going to tape sections of the bubble wrap to the floor and have contests to see which group can pop all their bubbles first.


Sun Art

Phil made us 7 little shamrocks :)

Using this special paper, you can let the sun make designs from objects in nature (or any objects) that you place underneath.


Making Homemade Ice Cream

Using directions like these, but in empty protein powder containers (we love our protein shakes!) the kids made actual ice cream yesterday and said it was great!


Sponge Balls

He tries to take the kids out for water play a lot, and though he's a HUGE fan of these water balloons, this year he also tried making sponge balls and they turned out great because you can keep using them after all the balloons have popped.


Spaghetti & Marshmallow Towers

This is a really cheap activity.  You can do it in groups or individually and judge it in any way you'd like - most creative, tallest, longest, etc.

And a bonus, here's some:

Silly Songs that Get Stuck in Your Head

The kids are loving these videos to dance and sing to at the end of everyday:

Have a dance-filled, craft-filled, anti-boring kind of weekend everybody!  Linking up with Kelly as one does on Fridays :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Identity Crisis

When I was pregnant with Baby 5, I remember my four biggest kids discussing if the baby was a boy or girl.  I told them they had to wait until the baby was born to find out.  My three year old daughter piped up and said "That's right!  If the baby is bald, it's a boy.  But if the baby has long hair, it's a girl!"  We smiled at her innocence and left it at that.  He was born a bald boy, so it all worked out in the end :)

On Friday, I posted a quick little comment thinking about how we know this baby in utero is a boy based only on his biological boy parts scanned by an ultrasound technician.  "Oh, he's definitely a boy" she assured us even though I was pretty certain this bambino was going to be a girl.  We didn't even think to question her judgment.  It was plain as day on the screen that he was, no IS, indeed a boy.

Yet, I am left to wonder, why is it that once those babies are born and grow up, it's not so simple?  Why is there now a disparity between sex organs and one's gender?  What used to be so black and white is now all shades of gray.  We've always taught our kids since they were little that you "get what you get, and you don't get upset" when it comes to playing the hand they've been dealt.  But now the world is trying to tell them that the most basic issue in our life: our gender, is questionable, is changeable?  How did we get here?  Has nobody read the Emperor's New Clothes?  He's naked people!

Don't get me wrong, I truly feel so badly with anyone who struggles with this issue in their life.  A boy who thinks he should have been a girl or a girl who identifies as a male...but that doesn't mean we need to change our definitions of male and female identity.  We need to help these people who feel at war with their bodies.  Offer them counseling, prayer, medications, anything to help them mentally and emotionally accept their state in life.  Because their struggle is a mental disease.  And to proclaim their mental anguish as a heroic testament to the human race isn't fair to anyone.

If we allow people to look down at their bodies and decide they were created "wrong" and allow them to identify as another gender, then we have to be okay with allowing anyone to identify as anything whenever they want.  Are we ready for that?  Consider the following:

When I am in need of some time off from work, can I identify as a 67 year old woman and qualify for retirement benefits?

When my kids apply to college, can they identify as minorities/geniuses/star athletes to obtain more scholarship money?

When my doctor says I am obese, can I identify as a 6'9" tall man who is actually underweight?

When my baby won't stop crying at night, can I identify as a college girl and pack up and head for a semester abroad in Europe?

When my husband forgets to pick up his dirty socks in the bathroom again, can I identify as an unmarried woman and find a new spouse?

When there are no close parking spaces at the mall, can I identify as handicapped to scoop up the last remaining spot by the door?

When I love my pet dog, I mean really just think he is the love of my life, can I marry him?  Love is love, right?

Why can't I choose to identify as a different person with a  different lifestyle when that is exactly what is being pushed through our culture right now.  It seems crazy, right?  But how can anyone judge me for wanting to be a completely different person than what I was born to be when I'm not allowed to judge them for doing the same?  When does identifying as somebody or something we are clearly not become a lie and not just a life choice?  When did coming out with a different identity earn a person accolades for being "brave" and "heroic"?  How do we stop the madness yet still be compassionate and kind to all those suffering?  

Monday, July 18, 2016

PinkBlush Winner!!

Congrats to...

Becky Lyons Borgia

who said she would pick this dress if she won:

Well Happy Shopping!  You just won a $75.00 gift card to PinkBlush Maternity :) 

Email me at collmart at gmail dot com and we can get the money into your hands.  Thank you everyone for playing, and to PinkBlush for the great giveaway!